Letter: Does '24' point to future?

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 4, 2007

Is the latest “24” hours (television program) designed to desensitize the American people to the potential reduction of additional civil liberties? This program is doing an excellent job of convincing us that we need further controls over our lives to counter terrorism.

Unfortunately, President Bush has not offered any meaningful program to eliminate terrorism close to its sources. Domestically, he has not launched any “Manhattan” programs to reduce the effects of the noxious gases that kill Americans and provide cheaper sources of energy for the majority of us, conditions caused by his inaction that only benefit terrorism.

The administration understands the enemies of the United States need financing with which to pursue their program of terror. Should he aggressively have launched a scientific program six years ago, we would have been in better control of our foreign and domestic policies. In the short term, there would be some dislocation, but American business ingenuity would deal successfully with the challenge.

Many pundits have mentioned the solution; nothing really has been done. Develop alternative fuels. Alternate fuels would allow us to move in the direction of balancing our foreign payments, increasing the value of the dollar in world markets. We could reduce our payments for oil to the Saudis and others who use the funds to support terrorism. Being relatively independent, we could pursue a foreign policy that meets with the president’s desire to create democracy and block terrorism throughout the Middle East without the backlash we have encountered in Iraq and other venues.

The president’s alleged change in attitude about the effects of fossil fuels after the recent election would be ignored at his own peril. Should he not reduce our dependence on oil, the Democrats will have a popular election issue contrary to oil and automotive interests.

— Arthur Steinberg